Spain’s second-largest city is one of the most popular destinations in the world to study abroad, and for good reason. The vibrant Mediterranean metropolis has a little bit of everything for everyone; its great food, sprawling beaches, lively entertainment, and rich cultural heritage will keep you exploring new nooks and crannies of the city until the day you leave. More than this, Barcelona is one of the most influential cities in Europe, and a major hub of higher education too. Earning a degree abroad in Barcelona is just the beginning of what can be a great adventure.
Academics & Degrees
Barcelona boasts a handful of the top universities in Spain, including but not limited to the University of Barcelona, Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Pompeu Fabra University. There is a large international student demographic among these major schools, and a further benefit of earning your degree abroad in Barcelona is the sheer number of students you will interact with from all over the globe as part of your education.
While English-taught degree programs do exist in Barcelona, the door of opportunity will open much wider if you are able to speak Spanish (even though many locals in Barcelona speak Catalan as a first language, the education system still utilizes the national language). If you are accepted into a local university, some of the most popular fields where international students pursue their degrees abroad in Barcelona include Spanish, business, sociology, art history, and European studies. The choice beyond this is entirely yours!
International students travel to earn their degree abroad in Barcelona both at the undergraduate and graduate level; the former typically requiring three or four years of study for a Bachelor’s degree, and the latter requiring one or two for a Master’s. Spanish universities do not have a common application system, meaning that each school you look at may ask for different requirements of foreign students. A language and/or other entrance exam may be levied, for example.
Life in Barcelona
Life moves slower on Mediterranean time. Some aspects of adapting to the local lifestyle while you earn your degree abroad in Barcelona – such as siestas in the late afternoon, dinner after 10 p.m., and nights on the town until the early hours of the morning – will undoubtedly take some getting used to. Shops may open and close spontaneously, meals may carry on for hours; it’s all a part of the laid-back pace of the city which most students come to fall in love with.
While the culture may be relaxed, however, there is still plenty to do in Barcelona. The city is infamous for its artistic and cultural heritage, which span to include the architectural wonders of Gaudi dotting the cityscape, live music and dance at a ton of great bars and venues, and many prestigious museums and galleries such as the National Museum of Art of Catalonia and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. And whenever you’re tired of the cultural stimulation, why not lay out on the beach with a sangria for the afternoon?
The icing on the cake to all of these great aspects of Barcelona is that it is also a true global city, with a diverse population and big-time connections in business, finance, and academia. Earning your degree abroad in Barcelona is more than the chance to immerse yourself in one of Europe’s greatest cities. It is the opportunity to get a top-notch education and make genuine connections which can carry you to success after graduation.
Scholarships & Costs
Public universities tend to charge between $1,000 and $2,000 per year in tuition for students from within the European Union, while private universities will sometimes charge up to $20,000. If you are an international student from outside of the European Union, additional fees may apply, so it’s a good idea to check out all the scholarships available to earn your degree abroad in Barcelona.
The good news is that, as far as Western European cities go, Barcelona is one of the more affordable major destinations you can study abroad. You’ll want to be careful to stick to a budget, of course, but you can rest easy that living costs for a degree abroad in Barcelona will be much cheaper than in, say, London or Paris.
Accommodation & Visas
You will likely be offered a variety of different accommodation options while pursuing your degree abroad in Barcelona. Student dormitories are generally the most affordable and convenient option, but if you are looking for a more autonomous experience of the city, then you might consider finding an off-campus apartment alternatively. Some shorter degree programs may also offer the possibility to live in a homestay with a local family.
Students from within the European Union will not have to apply for a visa in order to earn their degree abroad in Barcelona, while students from outside Europe will generally have to apply for a student visa type D. The details of Spain’s visa policy may vary depending on your home country and the length of your intended stay, so be sure to check out our Spanish Embassy Directory for more information.
Benefits & Challenges
Mediterranean Hub. Barcelona is the largest metropolitan area on the Mediterranean, which should come as no surprise if you consider its vast regional influence. There is a sense of local prominence to complement the beautiful scenery.
Spanish Immersion. Nothing will take your language acquisition to the next level like living in a place where you are forced to speak it everyday. It may surprise you how quickly you become fluent while earning your degree abroad in Barcelona.
Global City. Barcelona is a majorly influential global city in the international community, and this prestige is reflected in its internal diversity. Students and migrants come from all over the world for enrichment and opportunity.
Earning your degree abroad in Barcelona is a step in the door to earning a world-class education in one of Southern Europe’s great cities, and making global connections that can take you places you may not yet dream of. Think you’re up to the task?